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Local Hospital Officials: What To Expect From First Shipment Of COVID-19 Vaccine

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With the FDA poised to approve Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine soon, local hospital officials are offering an update on what the early stages of vaccination will look like in Michiana.

Dr. Dale Patterson, vice president of medical affairs at Memorial Hospital in South Bend, said the first set of doses will be administered to healthcare workers at the highest risk of contracting the virus.

“The vaccines will be given out through hospitals in our area, which include Goshen Hospital, St. Joe Med Center, and Elkhart General Hospital as Beacon’s representative,” he said in a https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1MG-8KioVI">taped statement from Beacon Health System.

In a written statement, St. Joseph Health System Chief Clinical Officer Genevieve Lankowicz said that if the vaccine is approved, St. Joseph Medical Center expects to receive doses Thursday, Dec. 17 and begin distribution Friday, Dec. 18.

Patterson said he expects most healthcare workers will be able to get vaccinated by mid-January. After that, he said the vaccine should be available to the general public through the spring and early summer.

Until then, though, both he and Lankowicz urged citizens to continue masking, distancing and hand-washing until health officials determine it is safe.

Contact Gemma at gdicarlo@wvpe.org or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo

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Gemma DiCarlo comes to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.
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